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Bret Baier Presses NIH Director Over ‘Silencing Opposing Views’ on COVID

bret-baier-presses-nih-director-over-‘silencing-opposing-views’-on-covid

While the left-wing media has relentlessly bashed the right for politicizing the COVID-19 pandemic, they won’t admit their own role in pushing politics into a public health crisis. But on Fox News Sunday, host Bret Baier confronted the outgoing NIH director over leaked emails showing he colluded with fellow health expert and media favorite Anthony Fauci to silence scientists who held opposing views on how to combat COVID-19.

That outgoing NIH Director, Francis Collins was blaming “social media” “misinformation” and “politics” for 50,000 Americans not yet vaccinated, when Baier pointed out how the government was also playing politics with this virus.

He read to the esteemed scientific official one of his own e-mails to Fauci in October of 2020, released under the FOIA by the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis last week, where Collins expressed the need for a “quick and devastating public takedown” of a document signed by thousands of scientists and health experts disagreeing with current COVID-19 policies [click “expand”]:

Dr. Collins we always hear ‘follow the science.’ and you know science is observation, description, experimentation and explanation but it seems that a lot of health policymakers have been trying to silence opposing views, in a newly released set of e-mails received from the Freedom of Information Act, between you and Dr. Fauci in October of 2020, you referenced the Great Barrington Declaration, that was a group of epidemiologists and public health scientists who wrote, “We have grave concerns about the damaging physical and mental health impacts of prevailing COVID-19 policies,” continuing, “Current lockdown policies are producting devastating effects on short and long term public health.” In this email to Dr. Fauci and Cliff Lane at NIH, you wrote, ‘Hi Tony and Cliff, see,’ and you connect to the Great Barrington Declaration link– ‘this proposal from three fringe epidemiologists who met with the Secretary seems to be getting a lot of attention, and even a cosignature from a Nobel Prize winner, Michael Leavitt at Stanford. There needs to be a quick and devastating public takedown of its premises. I don’t see anything like that online yet, is it underway?Francis.’ Did you write that? 

“Did you write that?” Baier simply asked.

The NIH director fervently defended his e-mail, saying that “hundreds of thousands of people would’ve died” if we had followed the suggestions in that proposal, and that “crazy proposals on the basis of pseudoscience” “need to be called out.”

Unfortunately what Collins was worried about has already happened. We have surpassed the 800,000 mark in Covid deaths in this country, despite lockdowns, social distancing, masking, and vaccines. 

Baier followed up this question by pointing out how the media and health experts aren’t just censoring nonsense, they also made a concerted effort to squash the rational and reasonable lab leak theory that would implicate China. 

He pressed, “Right but I guess it just follows this track with the early days downplaying or trying to discredit the lab theory from Wuhan. Why spend the time doing that when we’re talking about observation, description, experimentation and explanation? Now it seems like the lab leak is a real possibility.”

Yet Collins remarkably dismissed the lab leak idea as a “huge distraction” that was less likely than the bat wet market idea:

Bret I’m really sorry the lab leak has become a distraction for so many people because frankly we still don’t know there is no evidence  really to say–most of the scientific community–myself included, think that is a possibility but far more likely this was a natural way in which a virus left a bat may traveled through some other species and got to humans and there was no lab leak involved. We won’t know unless China decades to open up about this, which they have not done and shame on them for that. But this has been a huge distraction–

Perhaps sensing that time was running out, Baier cut in to end the interview on something they could both agree on: “Everybody should take this seriously is your bottom line message.”

Read the transcript below:

Fox News Sunday

12/19/21

NIH DIRECTOR FRANCIS COLLINS: Really frustrating. In this country, with all of its technological advance, that we still have about 50 million people who haven’t even got started on vaccinations. How did that happen? How do we get all of this mixed up with social media, misinformation and political insertion into the discussion? This is a thing for me on my last day as NIH director that I find particularly frustrating.

BRET BAIER: Dr. Collins we always hear ‘follow the science.’ and you know science is observation, description, experimentation and explanation but it seems that a lot of health policymakers have been trying to silence opposing views, in a newly released set of e-mails received from the Freedom of Information Act, between you and Dr. Fauci in October of 2020, you referenced the Great Barrington Declaration, that was a group of epidemiologists and public health scientists who wrote, “We have grave concerns about the damaging physical and mental health impacts of prevailing COVID-19 policies,” continuing, “Current lockdown policies are producting devastating effects on short and long term public health.” In this email to Dr. Fauci and Cliff Lane at NIH, you wrote, ‘Hi Tony and Cliff, see,’ and you connect to the Great Barrington Declaration link– ‘this proposal from three fringe epidemiologists who met with the Secretary seems to be getting a lot of attention, and even a cosignature from a Nobel Prize winner, Michael Leavitt at Stanford. There needs to be a quick and devastating public takedown of its premises. I don’t see anything like that online yet, is it underway?Francis.’ Did you write that? 

COLLINS: I did write that. 

BAEIER: Why?

COLLINS: And I will stand by that. Let me explain. What was being proposed there was basically saying, let’s not worry about mitigation, let’s just let this virus rip. This was of course before we had vaccines. Basically–these– I’ll call them fringe epidemiologists who really did not have the credentials to be making such a grand sweeping statement were saying, just let the virus run through the population and eventually then everyone will have had it and we will be okay. Hundreds of thousands of people would have died if we had followed that strategy. So I’m sorry? I was opposed to that and I still am and I’m not going to apologize for that. There are times when people make crazy proposals on the basis of pseudoscience and that needs to be called out.

BAIER:  Right but I guess it just follows this track with the early days downplaying or trying to discredit the lab theory from Wuhan. Why spend the time doing that when we’re talking about observation, description, experimentation and explanation? Now it seems like the lab leak is a real possibility.

COLLINS: Bret I’m really sorry the lab leak has become a distraction for so many people because frankly we still don’t know there is no evidence  really to say–most of the scientific community–myself included, think that is a possibility but far more likely this was a natural way in which a virus left a bat may traveled through some other species and got to humans and there was no lab leak involved. We won’t know unless China decades to open up about this, which they have not done and shame on them for that. But this has been a huge distraction–

BAIER: Basically keep it–everybody should take this seriously is your bottom line message. 

COLLINS: Yes. We’ve got to remember this is the enemy. It is not the other people in the other political party. It is not the people on Facebook or posting all sorts of crazy conspiracies. This is the enemy. We, in this country have somehow gotten all fractured into a hyper polarized politicized view that never should have been mixed with public health. It has been ruinous and history will judge harshly those people who have continued to defocus the effort and focus on conspiracies and things that are demonstrably false. Shame on all of us that we have gotten into this kind of pickle. We can still turn this around. But it is Christmas so let’s think about that. Let’s think about how our weary  world could be rejoicing because we have a gift coming to us on Christmas day that ought to be better than any of the things we are talking about right now. But boy do we need to get together. 

BAIER: Yeah. Doctor Collins, Merry Christmas, happy holidays and thank you for the service to the country.

What do you think?

Written by Newsman

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